7 Important Vitamins for Pregnant Women

May 09, 2011

Quick Bites:
  • Vitamin A is important for the embryonic growth of the baby.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is often linked to retarded growth, other complications.
  • Thiamine plays an important role in metabolism and other vital processes.
  • Folic acid reduces risk of neural tube defects.

You cannot survive nine months of pregnancy without taking essential vitamins. And, we are not kidding.

A bunch of fresh fruitsThere are several types of essential vitamins that can be included in your diet during pregnancy. Many women wonder about the type and source of prenatal vitamins suitable for them and their baby. For a detailed insight, keep reading.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. It is important for the embryonic growth of the baby. This includes development of the baby's brain, bones, teeth, heart, kidney, eyes, and respiratory, circulatory and nervous system.

Vitamin A is also helpful in the repair of postpartum tissues. For this reason women in their later stages of pregnancy are recommended to increase its intake. Milk, eggs, carrot, spinach, potatoes, cantaloupe, green and yellow vegetables are rich sources of this vitamin.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C, popularly known as ascorbic acid is effective for tissue repair, healthy skin and growth of bones and teeth. Daily dosage of this vitamin is important for both pregnant women and their baby. Beside its own health benefits, vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron. Experts suggest that a deficiency of vitamin C can even impair mental development.

Some good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, green beans, potatoes, strawberries, papaya, broccoli and tomatoes.


Vitamin E

This vitamin helps in the formation of muscles and red blood cells. However, a high dose of vitamin E in pregnancy is also a strict no. Experts suggest that many prenatal vitamins contain sufficient doses of vitamin E so there is no need of taking additional supplements of vitamin E during pregnancy. In fact, a high dose of vitamin E is potentially dangerous for pregnant women.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is often linked to retarded growth, skeletal deformities and risk of pregnancy complications. Experts suggest that vitamin D prevents again many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, gum diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moreover, it also facilitates your body in maintaining proper levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Sunshine, milk and fatty fish are some of the easy sources of vitamin D.



Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin that belongs to the B group of vitamins. Popularly referred to as vitamin B1, it plays an important role in metabolism and other vital processes. For instance, it is important for extracting energy from glucose. In addition to being helpful in normal development of baby’s brain and nervous system it also lowers the risk of low birth weight.

Fortified cereals, whole grain, eggs, rice, berries, nuts and legumes are some of the ways to get thiamine.



Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is needed by pregnant women for good immunity. It helps in production of energy for metabolism of fats, proteins as well as carbohydrates. Being a water soluble vitamin it is not stored in your body so it is important to take its daily dosage.

Dairy products, fish, eggs and fortified cereals are good source of Vitamin B2.


Folic Acid

Commonly referred to as vitamin B9 or folate, folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). Women in their early pregnancy and those who are planning to conceive are recommended a daily dose of folic acid. Oranges, green veggies and nuts are some of its sources.

Essential vitamins promise a woman healthy pregnancy and a safe offspring. It is therefore, important to take them after discussing it with the doctor.

Read more articles on Pregnancy Diet.